The Singleton is not a single distillery, but rather a brand which represents the single malts of multiple distilleries.
One of these is Glen Ord, on the edge of the Black Isle peninsula in the Scottish Highlands west of Inverness, and best known for its namesake 12 year old single malt.
Another is Dufftown, home to Glenfiddich and the self-declared Whisky Capital of the World.
The Singleton of Glen Ord 12yo
Colour: Orange gold.
Nose: Orange peel and milk chocolate. Smooth, creamy vanilla.
Palate: Slightly thin at first, but rounds out soon after. Candied almonds and orange zest, with a slight earthiness.
Finish: Short, earthy, with the faintest hint of smoke.
Rating: 89/100. An enjoyable, approachable everyday sipper.
The Singleton of Glen Ord 18yo
Colour: Copper gold.
Nose: Not dissimilar to the 12, but much sweeter, with much more confectionary.
Palate: Vanilla, strawberries and whipped cream. A fuller mouthfeel than the 12. Some candied orange peel.
Finish: Medium length with a little more smoke than the 12.
Rating: 91/100. A nice step up from the 12, yet still very approachable.
The Singleton of Dufftown 21yo
Colour: Yellow gold.
Nose: Prawn toast, honey ginger, mum's sherry-soaked Christmas compote (particularly those sherry-soaked peach slices) no doubt due to the 21 being aged in ex-Sherry casks.
Palate: "Wow!" was the first response. Fantastic. Sweet, rich, creamy, with a seemingly perfect 43% ABV (and that's coming from someone who loves cask strength whiskies). Sesame, boiled lollies, some bortrytis semillon and loads of berries.
Finish: Long with a hint of smoke, fruit compote and lots of red berry fruits.
Rating: 93/100. Very, very good.
The Singleton of Dufftown 25yo
Colour: Light orange gold
Nose: Smooth and round but with much more tropical fruit than the 21yo, aged in ex-Bourbon American Oak casks.
Palate: Much spicier, slightly hotter. Less stewed fruits and more tropical fruits - lots of apples, pears, passionfruit and even a hint of pineapple.
Finish: Longest of the four.
Rating: 92/100. A great dram but given the choice, I would lean towards the 21yo.
Also read: Three great whiskies to buy duty-free
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